Laser In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to reshape the curvature of the cornea. It treats vision problems caused by refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
For you to see clearly, light rays must travel through your cornea and lens. The cornea and lens refract the light so it lands on the retina. The retina turns light into signals that travel to your brain and become images. With refractive errors, the shape of your cornea or lens keeps light from bending properly. When light is not focused on the retina as it should be, your vision is blurry.
The goal of LASIK is to correct your refractive error to help reduce your dependence on eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. About 9 out of 10 people (90%) who have LASIK end up with vision between 20/20 and 20/40, without corrective lenses. However, you might need to wear glasses for certain activities, such as reading or driving at night.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LASIK?
To have LASIK surgery, you need to meet certain requirements:
Your ophthalmologist can talk with you about other conditions that may keep you from having LASIK.
To determine whether you are a candidate for LASIK, your ophthalmologist will thoroughly examine your eyes during your visit.
What are the risks of LASIK?
Like any surgery, LASIK carries risks of problems or complications you should consider.
Some people have side effects after LASIK that usually go away over time. However, in rare cases, they may not go away. For example, almost everyone who has LASIK will have dry eyes and changing vision during the day. These symptoms usually fade within a month. For some people, though, they may take longer to disappear or they may remain.
Other side effects, either temporary or permanent, could include:
Other rare risks include:
Also, with LASIK, your vision may end up being under corrected or overcorrected. These problems often can be improved with glasses, contact lenses or additional laser surgery.
If you are happy wearing contacts or glasses, you may not want to have refractive surgery. Together, you and your ophthalmologist can weigh the risks and rewards of LASIK.